How computing in schools was “dumbed down” and computer education became ICT


Not specifically a Legal IT post I know, but I’m sure it is of interest to anyone involved in IT. The announcement by the UK Department for Education that it plans to teach “rigorous computer science” to all children.

This to me is fantastic news and about time. I totally agree that ICT in schools has gone down the path that this article indicates:

“…attempts to teach programming and the deeper ideas of computer science were dropped and in their place children were exposed to word processors and spreadsheets – mostly Word, Excel and, of course, all running on Windows.”

The rest of the same article rings true too, especially that there was a big interest in programming around the time of the ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro etc (anyone remember INPUT magazine?), but the army of home grown programmers then tailed off. The arrival of the iPhone/iPad and the “App” has garnered some interest again and hopefully we can inspire a new generation of UK kids to code.


My only worry with this initiative is that the BCS (British Computer Society) are involved. I worry they have the governments ear, yet do not really represent modern day IT and deliver a more academic view of IT. What we need is to encourage the IT industry to help and really get involved with local schools and teachers to enable them to give kids a real world understanding of modern IT programming.

So like I said this isn’t necessarily Legal IT related, but a call to Legal IT developers to get involved!